Sunday, November 22, 2015

Maternity pants and Thanksgiving - a match made in Heaven

For those of you not in the education field, I'm carrying what is considered the perfect timing baby of the teacher world. Due in May, which means my maternity leave goes until the end of the year and runs right into summer. This avoids a lot of annoyances that having maternity leave at any other time entails - having to take your class back over from a sub, tons of planning/work to prepare to come back while you aren't even getting paid, etc. Basically, I can mentally check out of work completely once the baby arrives and start over fresh in a new school year when I return.

I always scoffed at this "perfect planning" because as most of us know, the majority of women can't exactly plan when their baby comes. Despite what they teach in high school healthy class, it's not always as easy as pull the goalie, 9 months later, meet your baby. With Dalton, the plan was HAVE A HEALTHY BABY ANY FREAKING TIME OF THE YEAR.

When he was like 2 hours old. I love looking at his tiny baby pics, makes me even more excited for another one!

I've long defended the beauty of the September baby.

  • Perfect weather for fall walks 
  • Gross rainy weather, perfect for snuggling up with a newborn and laughing at all the suckers trying not to get wet on their way into work
  • Not near any major holidays
  • As a teacher, you get to start the year with your class, then peace out for what are arguably the most stressful months of the year
  • By the time the holidays do come around, you're ready to drink again and probably good with pumping a bottle so you can do a lot of it
  • Personally, I found all the hype about a summer third trimester to be overrated (and I work without AC in a humid climate, don't forget). Yeah, it was hot. You know when else I've been hot? EVERY OTHER SUMMER EVER. 

However, I'm starting to come around to all the "May babies are the best" rumors. This weekend, we went to a Friendsgiving (for those not familiar with the term, it's when you have an early thanksgiving with a group of friends). This was my first introduction into the absolute beauty that is wearing maternity pants during the holidays. I think I now have a full appreciation for this and may have to do it every year regardless. 

Additionally, I am at the exact perfect point of pregnancy to gorge myself during the holidays. The first trimester nausea/weird aversions have passed (for the most part). Once again, almost every food sounds appealing. And I'm nowhere near the point where the combination of a giant baby crushing my actual stomach and heartburn sometimes will limit a meal to just a few bites before I feel stuffed (or at least, that was the case with Dalton, who was actually nowhere near giant and only 6-14 at birth). I'll only be 20 weeks at Christmas, so I feel that's still solidly in the safe zone for eating. 

While I wouldn't exactly call myself "energetic", I think I'm past the point where the idea of doing literally any task seems impossibly challenging. Yesterday, I took Dalton shopping for ingredients, then met my friends and ran FIVE MILES with the stroller.

So much side eye

That's essentially equivalent to 20 non stroller, non pregnant miles. In fact, I ran 6/7 days this week (3 outside, 3 on the treadmill). It was a huge confidence boost since I'm doing a 5k Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning. The 5 was a major struggle but the good thing about a stroller run is that at least one kid always needs something or has thrown something out of the stroller so there are constant stops and walk breaks, plus we like to stop at the halfway point to let the kids run around.

As soon as we got home, I spent the rest of the afternoon cooking the sides we were bringing, and then we spent the evening at Friendsgiving. The hosts had two babysitters so that the adults could have actual adult conversation. As I predicted, Dalton was having none of that. We tried a couple times to get him playing with the other kids and the sitters in the basement but as soon as we went upstairs, he would become hysterical and cry real tears, so he spent the time with the grownups.

However, you would not know he loves me based on the only picture I took, this selfie

I can't say I was mad, I'm always down for some extra time with him. It was pretty much the best day of his life because there were appetizers at his level so he could walk by and grab a cracker any time he wanted. He's used to having to beg us for snacks. 


Today we are having a lazy day and attempting to do some cleaning for Thanksgiving (Dalton is attempting to undo any cleaning we accomplish, as the toddler manifesto states). We are having two good friends over, so it's extremely low key and the cleaning standards will be even lower. We guarantee the food, and I can play the prego card as far as housekeeping goes.

Anyone else annoyed that their job is getting in the way of Thanksgiving prep this week? Like, hello, I have delicious butter filled dishes to cook.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

VBAC vs. Repeat C-Section - Choosing a delivery option

The pros and cons to help choose between delivery options
My first pinterest image! PIN IT or else. Jk. 

*Warning - this post is devoid of baby pictures and just my rambling thoughts. Sorry! Edited to add - ok I had to do ONE.

With Dalton, I scoffed at birth plans, or, more accurately, the idea of planning a birth. And rightly so, because if I could have planned his birth, I sure as hell wouldn't have requested 30 hours of labor, getting sent home from the hospital, and an emergency c-section. But the birth is a means to an end and it isn't called labor because it's a good time. While Dalton's birth was scary in the moment, it resulted in a healthy baby boy so it isn't something that's concerned me now that it's over. Plus, it makes a good story to scare expectant moms.

When he was BRAND NEW omg.

Now, having had a c-section, I'm in the position to have a choice, to some extent, about how to deliver baby #2. Back in the day, once a woman had a c-section, that was the only way they were allowed to deliver subsequent babies. In this modern medical era, (some) women can now attempt to go through labor and deliver a baby naturally even if they've had a c-section previously.

At my 6 week postpartum appointment, I asked my doctor if I was a candidate for  VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), mainly out of curiosity, since clearly I wasn't interested in conceiving again at that point. The reason for my c-section was Dalton's heart rate dropping suddenly, as opposed to him getting stuck due to the way my body is positioned, a health issue, or something that would be likely to happen again. That means that if I want to, I can try to get this baby out the old fashioned way.

I'm overwhelmed with the choice and have agonized over it for far too long, considering I essentially have very little control over it to begin with. Here's the breakdown.

C-Section - Pros 

  • NO LABOR, enough said. Right off the bat, I was all about the repeat c-section. Labor was nice and fresh in my mind and I was like F%$& THAT. 
  • Being able to plan ahead. Even if my mom jumped in the car the second my first contraction hit, it would be a good 6-7 hours before she could be at our house to watch Dalton. Getting him settled and not having to have 58 contingency plans for various times/days/scenarios of going in to labor is huge. 
  • Knowing what to expect. Eric is very pro c-section for this reason. Obviously he will support me whatever I decide but apparently the whole situation with Dalton was really terrifying for him. I never knew because in that situation, only one person is allowed to lose their shit, and that's the person on the operating table (me), so in the moment he was all calm and collected like it was no big deal. When I got pregnant again, it came out just how scared he was and he really doesn't want to risk that again. 
  • My sister, my running friend, my coworker, etc, etc have all had planned c-sections after emergency ones and had fantastic experiences. I love the idea of being positive that I can "enjoy" this kiddo's birth and focus on meeting him or her. 
C-section - Cons

  • It's major surgery. Obviously. 
  • The recovery time. I have a lot of friends with babies, and from my "research" of chatting with them, here's how I see it. With a vaginal birth, your recovery might suck. With a c-section, your recovery is pretty likely to suck. But, by all accounts, including my OB, recovery from a planned one is much easier than emergency. Still, that would leave Eric in charge of a newborn, toddler, and hormonal, incapacitated woman until I healed, and it breaks my heart to think of not being able to lift or do anything with Dalton for a few weeks. It's not like he would be old enough to understand. 
  • The hospital time. It's generally more with a c-section and I'm already having heart palpitations at the idea of spending our first night away from Dalton and barely (if at all) seeing him for a few days. I literally cry even time I think of it (including now) #hormones.
VBAC - Pros

  • Possibly an easier recovery, fewer restrictions (I could climb stairs, lift Dalton, drive, etc). 
  • Less time in the hospital.
  • The "experience". Ugh, it pains me to say this, but I want the experience of pushing a baby out and having him or her placed on my chest to snuggle right away. I never regretted not having that with Dalton, he was born how he was born and he was fine (and I wouldn't have had skin to skin time anyway since he needed a minor intervention right away). But a part of me is having trouble accepting that I would never get that experience (a second c-section means I can't try for a VBAC even if we did have a third child). 
VBAC - Cons

  • Labor. Obviously. The fact that I'm even considering it means that I've forgotten what contractions are truly like but I do remember they weren't pleasant. 
  • The risk of uterine rupture. This one scares me. My doctor said that once you are 18 months out from a c-section, there is a 1% chance for this. My due date is 19.5 months after Dalton was born, which is clearly more than 18 months, but not by a huge margin. 1% is a low risk, but it's still frightening. 
  • Scrambling for care for Dalton. I have wonderful friends and a ton have already offered to help, which is awesome. But they all have jobs and their own children and while I know they would make it work, it stresses me out that it can't be planned. It would all be complicated and I don't like the idea of leaving Dalton without him settled with someone he's comfortable with. 
See, in our original plan, Dalton would be like, 4 when all this happened. He would no longer need to be lifted out of a crib, he would have a solid grasp of the English language (receptive and expressive), and we would have already spent a night away doing something fun and romantic, not giving birth and then likely cluster feeding an infant. But then we just couldn't wait and our little impulse baby is on the way, and he's still just a little guy. I know it will work out whatever happens, but, like every second time mom, I'm naturally going to be worried about my first baby. 

I searched "VBAC" on pinterest and there were all sorts of hits. Most were blog posts written by people who wanted a VBAC so they could have a unmedicated labor and go on to have 5-7 children in all (repeat c-sections limit how many deliveries you can have). There were suggestions about eliminating gluten from your diet and doing planks to ensure a successful VBAC?! And the general overall feeling that OBs are evil monsters just plotting away to put pregnant women under the knife, not to be trusted. In short...not my people. (Don't get me wrong, I have friends that I love and respect that are devoted to unmedicated labor - but I've made it pretty clear it's nothing I'm personally interested in.) I actually don't know anyone in real life that has had a VBAC. So, I kind of feel like all this is pointing to a repeat c-section. I keep trying to get myself resolved to that outcome, but something about it just feels off. 

Let's take a poll - which delivery option should I go with? The joke will probably be on me and the baby will be breech and then it won't even be an option.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Best day of my life

Welcome to the best day of my life. Here's what happened.

First of all, I actually got up and ran. The distance isn't important. Don't worry about that. The point is, I was on the treadmill, moving, prior to sunrise.

Then Eric called me when I was on my way to work. My first reaction was panic, because the last time that happened, it was from an ambulance, after his car was totaled, with Dalton in tow. I heard him say something about an ear infection, so I assumed Dalton needed to go to the doctor. But finally I calmed down enough to understand that he was telling me that Dalton's daycare provider had an ear infection, he was fine, and Dalton just needed to be picked up before 11 (she had help until then).

It was Eric's first day of basketball tryouts (coaching, not playing), which is a big deal, so I stepped up and took one for the team. Left work a half day on a beautiful, unseasonably warm fall day to spend the afternoon with my son. We went to the playground, had lunch together, then he took a nap and I actually cleaned and did laundry! Then we went to Aldi and got all our Thanksgiving non-perishables. (I'm not sponsored, I just like dirt cheap groceries so I can save my money for daycare and have more kids.) It. Was. Glorious. I was seriously so happy to have an extra 5-6 hours with my little man.

I realize this makes me sound like a total asshole, capitalizing on someone else's illness and playing hooky, but I promise she's fine now, and I felt awful for her, and there was really no other option, I can't leave my kid there unattended with someone too ill to care for him. And, I'm selfish and like things that work out for me (preferably not at someone else's expense thems the breaks sometimes). I especially needed today after my last post.

This wonderful Monday (such an oxymoron but true in this case) followed yet another epic weekend of eating and kid activities. I used to be worried that after having a child, I would miss my past lifestyle of nightlife (my early 20s) and insanely long runs and races (my late 20s). However, I can honestly say that going somewhere full of brightly colored, loud musical toys and full of toddlers is something I look forward to now just as much as I ever did with racing or nights out.

On Friday we met up after work to go to Storyville (a free book themed gigantic play place at the library). I've been dying to go since Dalton could walk and try out the Toddler Bay.

Always blurry, can't stop won't stop.
It lived up to expectations and we all had a great time. That night, I thought we nailed dinner.

 I need all the Papa John's sauces on my plate. 
Looks delicious, right?But, it was inferior to the pizza we had later on this weekend. You'll see why.

Saturday morning I used the Port Discovery annual family pass that our generous friends got us for Dalton's birthday (Port Discovery is a really cool children's museum). They had a member's only preview of a new exhibit, before they opened to the public for the day. Naturally this made me feel super important and I'm not even lying when I say I was looking forward to it all week.

The exhibit was customized for my nephew, who's obsessed with Holsteins. I can't wait to bring him when he visits this winter. I was lucky enough to have two good friends, Carolyn and Kandi, and their little boys join me. 

Milking contest. Only Eric was able to beat the machine!
#1 priority of this post: Harrison's reaction to this picture.
World's most adorable cashiers.
Next up: a water table/playplace that takes up an entire room.

My little water baby.

We finished up the morning at Tot Tails with the giant light bright.

Notice the change of clothes after the water garden.
Kandi lives kind of far from the museum so I lured her in with promises of Shake Shack for lunch, and I had to deliver. Eric was devastated, of course. I'd never eaten there, only gotten a shake once (it's relatively new to Baltimore) and my burger and fries were heaven. The boys each devoured their own burger, of course. 

Sunday was Carolyn's birthday and she had friends over for lunch. Here's where our Papa Johns was put to shame. Her husband ordered her favorite food, deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati's in Chicago, and they apparently ship it right from the restaurant all the way to the east coast on dry ice. Best birthday surprise ever, and best November 15th surprise for the rest of us. 

So delicious.
And that's the story of another weekend of amazing food and fantastic toddler activities. I have all these fantasies of doing fun stuff like this nonstop on my maternity leave while I just wear and snuggle the new baby...I suspect it's a lot easier in my fantasies than it will be in reality. 

For anyone concerned about my cholesterol/ability to live till 40 based on my diet, I promise we do spend the non-blogged about meals eating things like veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins. But I have to capitalize on eating for two while I can. 

What do you look forward to and enjoy now that in your past life you wouldn't have been caught dead doing?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Working mom life: sometimes it freaking sucks

I'm having one of those weeks where I'm failing spectacularly at everything. It's not my first rodeo.

Let's just assume the usual disclaimers of the many ways I'm lucky have all been said. True, but not the point of this post.

Being a working mom is hard. I wish I could be all "It's so empowering, yay feminism, I am woman, hear me roar!", and maybe sometimes I am, but now is not that time. Instead, I'm trying to hold down two full time, all consuming jobs simultaneously (one is parenting, if you didn't catch that). That's a recipe for guilt, feelings of failure, and exhaustion. I want to do my job well, but I also want to be a good mother, and guess what? Both of those things require a ton of time. So it sort of seems like they're mutually exclusive.

But look at that mischievous little face!

Yesterday I had to stay late at work to finish report cards and work at an evening event. Luckily, my husband understands that if I don't see my son before bedtime, I would actually crumple up and die. (Exceptions to this rule: meeting my one day old niece, birthing my own second child.) So Eric brought Dalton to school to visit, which was great.

He laid on the floor and ate garlic bread.

Except I still barely got to see him, since I was actually there to, you know, work. I made it home around 7:15, just in time to read Where's Spot before he went down for the night. Then I found myself back on the computer, doing work again, even though I needed to be back there in less than 12 hours. I couldn't manage to catch up on work, and an entire day had passed where I'd barely seen my own child. Not to mention the dishes overflowing in the sink, the toys everywhere, and laundry that (still) needs to be put away (but writing this post is clearly paramount).

That one time I actually cleaned. He was fascinated.

This morning, I pretty much laughed and said "NOPE" when my alarm went off to work out and could barely make it out of bed at the last minute. For the second day in a row. 13 week fetus + 13 month baby + job do not equal a #motherrunner. Although I do feel there's a good hashtag in there somewhere. And on that note, don't think you won't see #twoundertwo constantly on my instagram.

I'll play the pregnancy card to some extent, because I'm freaking exhausted from creating life. Probably how God feels. That is concerning though, because you know what's really tiring? BABIES. So this self imposed exhaustion most likely won't be letting up soon (but I still can't wait for newborn snuggles). On the bright side, weekends feel like a huge treat. I don't have to get up, work out (ha, on a spectacular day), and get showered and completely ready before Dalton is up. I can just sleep in until I hear him!

Speaking of sleep, the past two days Dalton has been passed out when we need to get him up and ready to go. Even turning on the light and turning off his white noise didn't wake him, so we had to take him out of the crib and then he would sit in our laps and rub his eyes. THE GUILT. We felt so bad but what can we do? Go to work late to let him sleep in? We try to put him to bed earlier but he just plays in the crib longer then...

Sometimes I torture myself by reading articles intended for SAHMs (and I know being a mom is hard no matter what, but this is my blog, so it's my place to complain about my personal issues) and there's all this talk of how lucky working moms are to go to work and get all these breaks - coffee breaks, lunch breaks, adult chit chat breaks...but they never share a job title, or more importantly,  a listing for an opening at one of these magic unicorn leprechaun jobs with all these breaks. Can someone enlighten me? Because I would like to apply, and no one I know has jobs like this. I drink my coffee while running around making copies, passing out papers, writing objectives, and finishing up lesson materials for the day. I spend my lunch catching up on work email and paperwork. I wouldn't complain about work if it was mainly break time.

When I do foolishly decide I've earned a "break", and scroll through Facebook on my lunch, I generally see some cute picture of someone doing something fun with their child. And then I feel sad and guilty because I miss my own kid and we're not doing anything fun and then I'm throwing an unproductive pity party for myself instead of just getting shit done so I can leave at soon as possible to see him. I was going to take a day off in December to go see the Rockefeller tree with Dalton, but I'm already stressed out about missing time for prenatal appointments. I'm not even going to Dalton's well doctor visits now because of that (#momoftheyear) and also I know at some point he'll be sick and I'll stay home with him. So I feel guilty taking a personal day. And also guilty for not taking it to do something cool with him.

But at the end of every other week, I get a paycheck for all my troubles. Which I then hand over a large part of (soon to be larger) to someone else, for watching our kid, the one thing I desperately want to do. The problem is, the rest of that paycheck pays things like our mortgage, so we kind of need it.

I promise I'm not looking for "you're doing great!" comments. I know I'm doing my best, and that I'm a good mom. The point of this post is to complain. And hear from other working moms that while it's worth it, sometimes it freaking sucks. But at least I get a break this year from pumping.

What freaking sucks in your life right now? Let's all complain!

Monday, November 9, 2015

I just love food

I wouldn't say I'm king of the world or anything, but I'm officially in the second trimester as of last Friday and the fog is finally lifting. I think I'm remembering what it's like to be human again. I even managed to do housework during naptimes on Saturday AND Sunday (rather than napping myself). I did contemplate giving up exercise for the rest of my pregnancy while I was pushing snooze for the fifth time this morning, and then realized that after this pregnancy, I'll have two kids, so that really meant giving it up forever. Which I was ok with. Baby steps.

I had an ultrasound on Thursday, and it was really exciting because the baby actually looked like a baby! The dating one we had was at 7 weeks, so other than the heartbeat (which was glorious) there wasn't much to see. This time, the kid was moving, sticking out its tongue, and actually being a person! I can't wait to feel the movements. I keep thinking I do, but it's still early.

I celebrated all weekend. This weekend was especially epic for someone who loves food and eating like I do.

We kicked it off with a Friday evening stroller run. Somewhere in the 15-20 minute range (I forgot my Garmin, like it matters anyway), as per usual.

Then, since Friday was oddly, yet wonderfully nearly 80 degrees, we got in one last grill session for the season. Salmon and veggies. Kicking off a weekend of stuffing our faces with one healthy meal.

Saturday morning, we met our friends for baby story hour at the library. A far cry from back in the day when we were roommates downtown and spent our Saturday mornings together.

Yup, just posting this because I look good, my kid isn't even looking. Sorry not sorry.

He loved the rattle. Delicious.
It's fascinating to me that my (every?) toddler picks up every item he sees, and makes an instant decision: put in mouth, or hand to a parent. There are no other options. 

After story time, we all went home for respective naptimes. Then we met up again at our house for a baby dinner date. Obviously, going to a restaurant is laughable at this point in our lives, dinner dates mean takeout at 5:30pm. In this case, from an amazing Mexican restaurant near our old apartment (El Salto). I made oatmeal fudge bars for dessert.

They held hands WE WERE DYING.
The boys got super messy so they ended up taking a bath together. Naturally I'm not posting those pictures but just imagine the most adorable toddler nakedness that is so cute it hurts your eyes. 

I have an obsession with the Today show and I absolutely have to have it on at 7am every day (8 on Sundays). Pretty ridiculous since we leave about 7:15 for work so I barely see any but I seriously LIVE for days off just so I can actually watch. On maternity leave I would just lay on the couch while Dalton snoozed on my chest during the entire show. Those were the days. Anyway, we saw on the local news portion that there was a Greek festival this weekend and decided to go. 

I went for a run (3 miles!) around lunchtime on Sunday and I could barely even listen to Undisclosed because I was so busy salivating over the delicious Greek food in my future. It did not disappoint.

Dolmathes, fried calamari, and a gyro.

He was obsessed with the dolmathes. Actually with everything.

"Don't mind me, I'm just devouring the weird part of fried calamari with all the legs sticking out."
As usual, our little adventurous eater/trash compactor eagerly gobbled everything up. We seriously can't believe we got so lucky with how well this guy eats so far and fully expect our unborn child to only eat kraft mac and cheese for 3 years or something (although by that logic, baby #2 should be an amazing sleeper). 

Luckily I saw a sign for baklava sundaes on the way in, so I saved room.

Just as glorious as it sounds.

There was so much to look it, he wasn't even trying to eat my sundae in this picture (but I did have to share). 
Our BFFs came and met us again. It's so perfect how our boys are so close in age and we can do everything together!

Nathna's coat KILLS me, too adorable.

This time, I can fully appreciate how much I need to take advantage of "eating for two" in the second trimester, before the baby gets all big and takes up all the room in there. It was wonderful to be able to eat massive amounts of greasy or sugary food this weekend with no horrific consequences. In fact, we've even scheduled a second Eating Tour of Rochester, Part 2, and applying this lesson, it will take place around 20 weeks, during Christmas break. This is our inspiration and anyone in Rochester during that time is welcome to join.

The Greek festival was so good, we even got extra gyros to take home for lunch the next day. Having that instead of my usual healthy lunch really started off my Monday in the right place.

Although I was exhausted from all that eating, I managed to prep dinner for the following night. Mondays are rough, coming home knowing there's a piping hot delicious dinner in the crock pot really helps me push through. I decided to take a break from this weekend's all fried, all the time meal plan and went with a cream cheese chicken chili that even included veggies. 

Who else LOVES the Today show? I have such a girl crush on Savannah. 

What's your favorite ethnic cuisine? Greek moved up a bit this weekend, but so far nothing I've tried has been better than Ethiopian.

When did you first feel any and all of your babies move? Dalton was 19 weeks, but I've heard second time moms can feel babies as early as 13 weeks (which I am now).

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Pregnancy #2: all the details you never wanted

I'd heard that no two pregnancies are the same but hearing it and living it are two very different things. It could not be more true for me, this pregnancy compared to my pregnancy with Dalton are night and day! The ONE thing that is the same is that I developed a coffee aversion early on. Sad but true. I'm hoping that it comes back into my life at some point in the second tri, as it did before. I'll explain the main differences by categories.

Morning Sickness: I never had a moment of sickness with Dalton. I always said I could have been on "I didn't know I was pregnant", because I really had no symptoms. This time around, it's been a more stereotypical pregnancy. Nausea, weird cravings (clearly), random aversions, and generally feeling hungover most of the time. I definitely can't complain, because it hasn't been bad compared to what some women go through, but it's all new for me. I had a sweets aversion for a few weeks - like, could not tolerate anything remotely sweet, fruit, peanut butter, NOTHING. I didn't even touch a cupcake at Dalton's birthday party. Luckily, that's slowly letting up. Still, I think it's better to have this annoying symptom the second time around since I actually feel confident it will be worth it.

There's no good picture for that, look at this instead.

Exhaustion: Of course I was tired before, every adult ever is always tired. But I never felt that bone crushing exhaustion of the first trimester. This time, I sure do. Obviously, having an active one year old to care for adds a whole new element that wasn't there before, but I think it's more than that. It's an exhaustion that no amount of sleep can help. I've been going to bed the same time as Dalton (which is about 7pm) because I feel like I can't remain vertical even one second longer. On the weekends, his nap time is often my nap time.

Running: Pregnant running: fun for no one. Unless you have a $50 running for two tank top so you can brag (which I don't). I always thought that the big belly and extra weight were what made pregnant running a challenge. But it turns out that doing stuff like creating a brain and nervous system are taxing on the body, and all that starts way before you become enormous. Compared to my last pregnancy, my running now is a joke. If I can get 15-20 minutes in (which I do, most days), I'm thrilled with myself. Side note - this also explains why I'm only on episode 5 of Undisclosed. I don't really bother comparing though, because I got pregnant with Dalton shortly after running a 50 mile race, and I got pregnant with #2 shortly after a 10 mile race that I may or may not have been prepared for. Not the same. Throw in morning sickness and the added responsibility of a toddler, and that's why I now consider 15 minutes of slow jogging on the treadmill a stellar workout. But, I did run five stroller miles on Sunday!

Insomnia: I think I had this pretty bad before too, but this time I have an amazing secret weapon - Unisom. Nectar of the Gods. My doctor approved me to take it around 9 weeks, and I've slept so gloriously since then. Prior to that, I seriously read three books in the middle of the night due to pregnancy insomnia. (Orphan #8, The Language of Miracles, and The One and Only, for anyone interested, and now I'm reading The Nightingale). The worst part was that Dalton finally started sleeping through the night just about when I saw the second line, right before his first birthday, and I couldn't even enjoy it!

Body: So far, about the same. My pants are getting tight, I break out the belly bands on occasion, but definitely nowhere near showing yet. I hear you blow up quicker with the second pregnancy, so we will see. I packed on the weight right away with Dalton, though not exclusively in the belly. I specifically remember asking my doctor if I gained too much in the first tri and she was like...well, not much we can do about it now. And this time I haven't gained any weight yet. #ZOMGhealthypregnancyskinniestfetusever Obviously that's directly related to my sweets aversion. I'm sure I'll pack it on shortly. I just ate some heath bar ice cream.

Judging you

Emotions: With Dalton, I think I was well into the second trimester before I even got my head around being pregnant. It wasn't until the third that I began to accept that a baby was coming, and really, even then, I was in denial while in labor. This time, it didn't seem quite so crazy. Right away, I started thinking about what life would be like with the new baby - both the excitement and the fear. Of course, like most second timers, I'm sure, 90% of it centered around how it would affect Dalton, and the other 10% was wondering how I could possibly care for a toddler and a newborn. But, obviously, billions of women have done it and survived, and I'm sure I will too. I'm pretty stuck on the newborn/toddler phase - I haven't fantasized about them playing together while older or anything yet. Maybe in time.

The burning questions we've been asked:

Maybe because we've always said we wanted to wait for a second, but right away most people have asked: is this is a "surprise" baby? Nope! This baby is very much intended and wanted, although it was a bit of an impulse baby. What can I say, we changed our minds! We always knew we wanted more children, and (cheesy sentiment alert) Dalton has brought more joy to our lives than we ever could have imagined, so....we wanted to do it again! I'm close with my siblings and so grateful I grew up with them, and I want that for Dalton (and the new baby).

Dalton in the hospital, teeny tiny

Our main reason for waiting was not wanting to pay for 2 kids in daycare, but we'll be paying for it at some point regardless. Yeah, it will suck to see that bill, but then, when they are both in school, think how rich we will feel? Neither of us are spring chickens (I'm 32 and Eric is 35) and we both like the idea of expanding our family sooner, rather than later. We barely remember sleep (although, I'm re-learning and it's lovely), and might as well get the diapers/bottles/etc out of the way in one fell swoop. So, here we are!

Boy or girl? We don't know, and aren't finding out! With Dalton, I could barely wait until the anatomy scan, but this time I'm really thrilled to be surprised (and Eric is less than thrilled, but he's on board). I was inspired by my sister, who waited to find out with my 3 month old niece. Her experience was so exciting that I wanted to try it! I'd love to have a girl as well as a boy, but having a boy has been amazing, and (I hope) two brothers so close in age would have so much fun! As long as the baby is healthy, we're happy.

Will you have another c-section? This is something I've agonized over enough for it's own separate post, but in short - probably. I haven't fully 100% committed (and don't really need to yet), but it makes sense for a lot of reasons.
Eric, while I was in the OR.
I think I covered all the bases here! I've received more than one comment along the lines of "most blogs suck once the blogger gets pregnant, but I keep reading yours", so it's my hope and goal to continue that tradition. Having two kids will most likely put me firmly in mommy blogger territory, if I'm not there already, but I'll do my best. Thank you so much for all the sweet comments and congratulations!

What's the weirdest pregnancy symptom you've heard of? Last time, my teeth got so sensitive I could barely eat for a few days.

Kids close together in age: is it a do or a don't? Obviously, a do.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Khaleesi goes trick or treating

I'm so impressed with how well my little experiment of "pregnancy announcement at the end of the most boring post ever to see who actually reads" worked! (Side note, I never posted it on Facebook, so my Facebook friends may have missed that post). I didn't think anyone would actually comment so it was pretty exciting to get all sorts of congratulations! Thank you! Since it seems there is maybe some interest, I am working on a post with all the pregnancy details but I'll try not to make it boring.

Being with child explains the real reason why Dalton weaned (it did happen as I described, his choice, but I'm pretty sure that's why) and why I did a 5k instead of a half marathon. I'm due May 13, and we could not be happier to become a family of four!

I'm pretty sure I've been more excited about this year's Halloween than I have been for most Christmases, but before we jump into adorable baby costume pictures, let's talk about daylight savings time.

Can we just stop with all the parental martyr outrage on social media? Yes, we all get it, as parents, we don't get the extra hour of sleep. Hilarious, right? But guess what? We do all actually get the extra hour, whether or not you have spawned. Call me crazy, but I was pretty happy about an extra hour WITH my kid, since lord knows I don't have enough of those. I could see maybe being upset when we lose an hour in the spring, but not this year. We all get the gift of time - parents, children, nonparents, pets, etc! Even if you don't get an extra hour of sleep, you can still get the same amount. We all know it's coming. If your kid historically gets up at the crack of dawn after "fall back", just go to bed early. It happens on Saturday. You don't have to get ready for work in the morning. Hit the hay.

Ok, with that off my chest, Halloween was all I dreamed it would be and more. Many months ago, my friend mentioned she had a 12 month dragon costume that she didn't plan to use, and I jumped on it. And of course, when I think dragons, I think Mother of Dragons.

It's like we are twins.

Like many Game of Thrones fans, I'm sure, Eric loves how bad ass Khal Drogo is, so the family costume idea took place over the summer, and in typical Lindsey fashion, we didn't bother to do anything about it until the week before Halloween.

I probably would have just dropped the ball altogether and only dressed Dalton up, but last weekend my friend and I happened to be walking past a Goodwill on 50% off day, so we went in to pick up Halloween supplies. She's a master stylist, both costume and fashion, and helped me pick some random stuff out that we could turn into costumes. Combined with stuff we already had around the house, we got everything, wigs included, for a whopping $14.

We started thinking it would be cool to have a dragon egg to represent the new baby (although that is not true to GRRM, since all the dragons hatch at the same time). But since I didn't know where to buy a dragon egg, and don't do crafts, I dismissed that idea quickly.

However, with some encouragement from friends (most importantly, an art teacher), I decided I could paper mache a balloon and then paint it. Didn't sound like me, but I was determined to try. Now, the smart thing to do, with a project that required several steps and dry time in between each one, would be to start early in the week, to allow plenty of time before Saturday for the egg to be completed. I started Friday morning. Which is why I found myself blow drying a paper mache balloon Halloween morning.

I also had very little time for the painting, so I devised this handy device.

It allowed to me paint the entire balloon at once. Somehow, it all came together, and looked pretty shimmery and dragon egg like.

Probably how the Game of Thrones producers made their eggs too.

I really wanted to put Dalton in his dragon outfit the moment he woke up but Eric convinced me that was crazy. We waited until the last minute, after our costumes were on and Eric's eye makeup was done, since we didn't know how he would handle it. It turns out, he had no idea he wasn't wearing normal clothes. It was so cute it hurt my eyes, like looking at the sun.

 My little dragon immediately wanted to read "Where's Spot?". I'm sure Daenerys read that same book to her dragon children many a time.

Finally, we got him out the door and attempted a self timer family picture. It wasn't great.

Dothraki warriors do not smile for pictures.
Luckily, my friend Kristin came over and saved the day and took a picture for us. We used it as our social media pregnancy announcement. We set the bar high the first time with a Titanic announcement, and I think we lived up to it.

Dalton had a great time banging on doors, naturally he didn't have a clue what was going on but he loved walking all over the neighborhood and exploring (although we only went to 4-5 houses).

Turns out none of our neighbors watch Game of Thrones. Womp womp. On the bright side, we got fewer trick or treaters than expected, so we are currently being forced to binge eat the extra candy.

Just had to do one more.
Here we are, on another November 1st, and I haven't bought a single Christmas present. Still, I'm really excited for the holiday season. Last year Dalton was a newborn and pretty much slept through everything. It's so much fun to have him actually participate now that he's older! Plus, I think I can play the pregnancy card this year, and then next year, the "adjusting to life with two kids card" I don't REALLY need good gifts until 2017.

How many Christmas gifts have you bought? And if your answer is double digits, you are required to give me at least one good gift suggestion for someone in my family who can talk.

Trick or treaters - love them or hate them? It was only our first year handing out candy, so I'm not jaded yet, and I had fun seeing the cute kids costumes.